Monday, March 19, 2007

Kjartan Slettemark

Saturday we saw Mr. President at SUNY Albany's University Art Museum... it was good... I'll post on it later, but first I want to show some work by an artist not included in the show, Kjartan Slettemark. I saw his Nixon Visions in a used bookstore a couple weeks ago, and it relates to the Albany show.

Slettemark (born 1932) has been working a long time, in Norway and Sweden... the Nixon Visions work started in 1971, with a found photograph of Nixon to which Slettemark added a hand holding a coffee cup, appropriated from a Swedish advertisement for a popular coffee. It was unsettling for these two ubiquitous images, with oppositional associations, to be seen combined... and wheatpasted all over Stockholm.

Next, using scissors and glue, Slettemark used the altered photo to create a series of Nixon Cut Ups -

Kjartan Slettemark

Kjartan Slettemark

Kjartan Slettemark

Kjartan Slettemark
ClicK here to see all of the Nixon Cut Ups.

Kjartan Slettemark
Slettemark's final act in the Nixion Visions was to somehow get issued a passport which included a photograph of Nixon, but with Slettemark's hair and beard. The next year, 1975, he used that passport to travel to NYC.

Slettemark has done so much more, both before and since... go to his website to see some of his sculptures, performances, paintings, video, photography. I like this 2004 video of him disrupting an art fair as Marilyn Monroe, followed by masked assistants holding his Warhol-like portrait.


Michael said...

Thanks for this- I didn't know his work.

martin said...

michael - i didn't either, until a few weeks ago when i saw the nixon cut ups in a used bookstore (dog eared books, hoosick ny).

ps - i'm psyched about that heroes line-up, so many artists i like are in that show... THANKS!

Anonymous said...

These are great!!


Ivar said...

I am sorry to report that kjARTan Slettemark is dead. He died of heart failure 76years old, 13th of December 2008.
May his art be remembered forever.